Fantastic fantasy

   To all those who think it began with Harry Potter:
  The gifted orphan boy facing insurmountable odds to save the world/prove himself/revenge his family is an old, old story indeed. In "The Name of the Wind," author Patrick Rothfuss gives us his soaring take on it, introducing us to Kvothe, who as an obscure innkeeper, tells us his story as a brash and precocious youth thrust into homelessness and worse by the murders of his parents and all whom he held dear. The story is told in flashbacks, but that doesn’t hamper the narrative flow as it weaves from the present, to the past and back again.
  The book starts slow, but stick with it. There are wonders to behold in Kvothe’s journey to magic and reasons to fear for his soul. He’s a hero, he’s a villain, he’s a boy alone overwhelmed by those who seek his pain for their own pleasure. And over it all are the shadows cast by the elusive Chandrian, the demons who kill to protect the secret of their existence.
  But readers beware — at 736 pages, this bricklike novel is no stand-alone story. The book is the first installment in an epic fantasy trilogy called the Kingkiller Chronicle. Events are touched on in this first book that are left untold. At the end, we have just the vaguest notion of why Kvothe is where he is, in the condition that he’s in. That’s more than a bit frustrating, but I know that I’ll return for more. Even if I have to wait until 2009. Ugh.

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